No need for bridge2bridge

A letter to the editor about the proposed bridge2bridge project.

In the last week we have experienced torrential rains, the likes of which this area has seldom if ever experienced.

These rainfalls caused a major high water event which was almost unprecedented in the town’s history.

These rains very clearly demonstrated that the existing dykes in the area of the proposed Bridge to Bridge Project (B2B) are more than sufficient to prevent a flood.

In fact, at the high water mark there was still approximately three feet of clearance between the top of the dyke and the Kicking Horse River.

During the high water event we witnessed the deployment of the Town’s temporary dykes.

These units appeared to be more than sufficient to meet the needs of the community.

I wonder how expensive each unit is?

How many meters could we purchase with the $4.5 million Mayor Benty and council is proposing to spend on B2B?

Why was the temporary dyke deployed where it wasn’t needed when another long established local business; the Brookside Motel was actually being flooded and under water?

Why didn’t this business receive protection from the temporary dykes?

What vital municipal infrastructures was the town trying to protect?

A book store and a health supplement shop?

In last week’s paper Mayor Benty justified B2B on the basis of preventing an “economic and social disaster and a crippling of the community’s operating systems”.

What vital operating systems is she referring to?  What social or economic disaster is she trying to prevent?

The most important community facilities and operating systems like the hospital & Durand Manor, medical clinic, pharmacies, fire-hall, police station, ambulance service, BC Hydro substation, Telus communication center, cable TV satellite station, sewage & water treatment plants, courthouse and provincial government offices, town hall, library, Civic Center, Senior Center, college, pool, arena, Rec-plex, airport, rail yards, industrial area, vital commercial/retail operations and the majority of the residential homes in Golden are across the river from the proposed B2B site.

None of these services, homes or businesses will be protected by B2B.

All of these vital services, homes and businesses are in a historic flood plain and have the highest degree of risk.

Most commercial businesses and property owners in the area of the proposed B2B should have flood and water damage insurance or can obtain it.

A substantial portion of any losses incurred as a result of a flood would be recovered from their insurers.   While there would be some economic impact it would not be a disaster provided businesses had the available insurance.

While some flooding in the old business district would be an inconvenience it would not be a social or economic disaster.

In this time of economic uncertainty Mayor Benty and town council need to show fiscal restraint and curtail all but essential spending and borrowing.

We have other priorities like our roads, sewers and water mains that need to be replaced or repaired.

The B2B is not an essential project and should be scrapped.

With a population and tax base that is decreasing we can’t afford it and as the recent rains have demonstrated we don’t need it.

Yours truly

Bob Munro

Golden, BC